The Scotch Collie – Poultry Topics, July 1907

Scotch Collie - 1907The collie or shepherd dog has been bred in Scotland for many years as a help to shepherds.

Those old collies bred many years ago would hardly know some of the great winners of today. They were a short, broad-headed dog, as most dogs’ heads are made. A short jaw for strength. But man wanted a different head, and we have it. It is likely, too, that we do not have near as many dogs that can be trained to drive cattle and sheep as the old kind will, too. And if they can be taught to do driving so well, they can be taught the many other things we would like the dog to do.

Remember the collie is a dog of many uses. He will guard property as well as catch a chicken or drive sheep. I have pups now that are but seven months old, yet they stayed by my man’s coat in the field after he had gone to town. The next day I found them staying by the rubber that he had left up in the path to the feed house. It was no place to rest at all, but they knew it was part of his property, and they stayed by it. I have no trouble to teach them to stop cocks when they are fighting. A few times showing will do it. A few catchings of hens, and they will do it. They very soon learn to open doors and gates. All these things show the wonderful adaptability of the collie.

The present collie females are in size from twenty to twenty-three inches tall and weigh from forty to sixty pounds. The males are from forty to seventy pounds each, and are from twenty, for the small ones, up to twenty-six inches tall. But, remember this, if you want the best worker and the best learner do not select the largest in the litters. The medium and smaller ones will, as a rule, be the best in mind and quickness of body.

The present day standard calls for a long head. The value of a show collie depends first on the head and then coat, yet all parts of the body count, but these are the fad parts. The head must be narrow at the top and taper to the muzzle. Ears must be small and set on the top of the head and half pendant.

If the head is not too faddy, it makes a beautiful dog, that is sure, but, as I have said, some have suffered in intelligence tto get it.

The coat must be dense and straight. The outside coat is rather coarse, but the under coat is soft and fine. It should be so dense that you will have difficulty to part it to the skin.

The limbs should be straight. Feet like a cat, short and round.

I very much dislike to see faulty front legs. The body should be long and well ribbed out. A flat ribbed dog is not a good collie. If the front legs are set well apart you will generally have a good chest.

Much is added to the collie if it has what is called the collie expression. That is a gentle look. It is one of the scoring points in a collie and is a strong point in their favor.

A collie should be of trusty, gentle disposition to all of the people of the family and not treacherous to strangers. That is, if he is what we call cross, he should give warning to you that he wants you to stop or get out.

They should be and are the protection of the children. Do not keep on? if you find it will turn on them in anger if they abuse it, for if anything goes wrong in its mind, it will turn on them. I never yet had a child bitten by a collie, but I had one that would grab a man behind. I do not like that. I like them to do as one of my best bull terriers would do. She would give them fair warning, and if they were at the same place too long there would be trouble. She never bit a man, for they were so quick to give in to her wishes.

Some persons will say a collie cannot be trusted with children. Ever since I have raised collies, and that is for some years, the neighbors’ children have played with them from the beginning. They lead, drive, ride or do just what they wish, and never did one of them turn on them. But now and then there is in some strains one that will not stand it. You had better not keep it. as I have said, for it may, some day. get angry and bite a child. One such will give many honest ones a bad name.

Remember, it is a dog’s nature to want to be with humans, and it is their joy to please and serve them. No other animal has this desire in any way near the degree the dog has. And the collie is one of the very best of them all — W. W. Kulp, in Industrious Hen.

scotch collie owned by W. S. Russellscotch collie owned by Thomas Stretch
Imperial Seal, a scotch collie of 1907Sunshine Allenton George, a scotch collie of 1907
Burwood's Clinker, a scotch collie of 1907














Excerpted from Poultry Topics and Western Poultry News, July 1907

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  1. I love the old collie, the one that looked like a collie and not a glorified sheep. I bred collies for 30 years but the dog they are breeding now is not capable of doing the job they were bred for. oh, they make an attempt , but , alas, they are not the same. The coats are so wooly every tiny bit of dirt etc is stuck in it. One dog that I have rehomed is more of an old time collie and her half brother is more of the show collie. Give me the old time collie anytime.

  2. If only they still looked like that, what regal animals. Not in a refined and pretentious sense, but in a sagacious manner. They are alive in the eyes instead of being the dead faced wedge headed monsters that are all the fashion now. Wouldn’t you like to get to know any of the dogs here?

  3. Leave it to the human race to try and take a great thing, and make it better. So many different people allegedly trying to produce their minds-eye version of a written standard. I, too, prefer a moderate type Collie, but it’s getting harder and harder to get one. So, I satisfy myself with dogs that have rock solid temperaments/dispositions, and the superb uncanny intelligence and sensibility that only the Collie has. They read us so well, so very much in tune with us. Mannerly, and clownish with a rip roarin’ sense of humour. I tnhink we’ve gotten too big now. I love my big boys, but a higher center of gravity makes it a little harder for him to make those super sharp turns, dips, rock backs and speed demon starts. They’re still super fast and turn on a dime, but I think I would give in size several inches at least to regain what I’m seeing of the agility of our Smlooth Collie brethren overseas (such as Skip & Odie in Czech).

  4. Would love to be able to post the finishing sentences from that article together with a few of the photographs. Would that be all right and I not be in violation of some copyright&intellectual property statutes that I know nothing about?
    And you know, some of the Welsh sheepdogs, the Cy Cymreig, look just like this…

  5. I love the Scottish Collie, but I must say, I really like the old fashioned look more. I have one from show lines, but has many “faults” by their standards (as if I give a hoot). His chest is big, big boned, swirled tail which he carries over his back like a husky when excited, pricked ears, larger eyes, his face looks “old fashioned” (not long and pointy like a spear) and his color is piebald marked. Yet, he can herd, has wonderful temperament and very biddable – infact, he’s the easiest trained dog I have ever had. Not show quality but I don’t care, I love him. I’m getting another old fashioned collie soon to work some livestock, can’t wait!

  6. I have a dog that is 1/2 English Shepherd and 1/2 Australian Shephard. She is 13 years old now. We started raising chickens about 7 years ago and she has been such a protector of the flock. She will even go into the hen house and bring eggs to me unbroken. She weighs between 35 and 40 pounds, was born with a docked tail and is black with white chest and white feet and lower legs with a small amount of brown between the black on her legs before the white begins on her lower legs. She is smart and loyal and protective. I would love to find another like her and that is how I stumbled onto the Old Time Farm Shepherd/Collie sight.

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